B i b l e S t u d y
O u t l i n e s
Rev. Ronald C. Purkey, an ordained Baptist minister, claims no originality for this Bible study outline.
However, every Bible study posted on this website has been taught by Rev. Purkey.
To see more Bible study outlines go to “The Archives Page”: More Bible Study Outlines.
BACKGROUND: Here is John’s beautiful description of the people of Revelation chapter seven.
First, they were accepted, for they stood before God’s throne and the Lamb. No doubt they had been rejected on earth for they stood for truth at a time when lies were popular and Satan was in charge. Their white robes and palms symbolize victory: they were true over comers! The Jews used palm branches at their Feast of Tabernacles (Leviticus 23:40-43), which was a special time of national rejoicing.
Then, they were joyful. They sang praises to the Father and to the Lamb; and their worship was joined by all those who surrounded the throne.
Third, they were rewarded. They had the privilege of being before God’s throne and of serving Him. When God’s people get to heaven, there will be work to do! We shall be able to serve Him perfectly! The Lamb will shepherd us and satisfy us with every good thing (see Isaiah 49:10; Revelations 21:4).
INTRODUCTION: At the time of the coming Tribulation (see Jeremiah 30:6-8; Matthew 24:20-22) there is a pause between the opening of the sixth and seventh seals; judgment on the earth halts for a brief time while God seals 144,000 Jewish men who will carry the Lord’s message to the ends of the earth. We are not specifically told that these Jewish men will be God’s ambassadors, but we assume that this is why God seals them. We see that the day of God’s wrath is about to come (Revelation 6:15-17); so God brings a lull in the storm and extends His mercy to Jew and Gentile alike.
I. AN UNCOUNTABLE CROWD. (Revelation 7:9-10)
A. The People From all Nations. (Revelations 7:9)
“After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, …” (Revelations 7:9a)
The Jews were numbered (Revelation 7:4-8), but this multitude could not be numbered. These Gentiles are the fruit of the labors of 144,000 Jewish preachers, and they come from every nation under heaven.
B. They Come with Palms in Their Hands. (Revelations 7:9b)
“… and palms in their hands.” (Revelations 7:9b)
Their “palms” suggest the Feast of Tabernacles in the Old Testament (Leviticus 23:40-43), the event at which Israel rejoiced at the blessings of the Lord. They are dressed in white robes, which indicates their righteousness through the Lamb.
C. Their Praise is to God and the Lamb. (Revelations 7:10)
“And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.” (Revelations 7:10)
They are not a part of the church; the church will already be in heaven having been Raptured. Verse 14 makes it clear that they come (not “came”) out of the Great Tribulation. Here John sees them standing before the heavenly throne, praising God and the Lamb.
II. A WORSHIPFUL CIRCLE. (Revelation 7:11-12)
“And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.” (Revelation 7:11-12)
A. Universal Worship.
This is a fabulous, fantastic scene of universal worship of God by His creatures. The church is here, the Old Testament saints are here, and the tribulation saints are here. And now the angels join in on it.
B. Angelic Worship.
There are just one or two things I would like to say about the angels.
I do not want to labor the point, and I would not argue with anyone about it, but nowhere in Scripture does it say that the angels sing here. They are saying this here. However, the important thing to note is that the other groups thank God for their redemption, “Salvation to our God,” but the angels do not mention it.
They praise God for His attributes, (1) praise, (2) glory, (3) wisdom, (4) thanks, (5) honor, (6) power, and (7) strength but not for salvation. Why? Because they are sinless creatures, not redeemed sinners.
INSIGHT: I do believe that I will be able to sing in that day. I cannot do it now, but I sure will be able to sing with that great company.
C. Sincere Worship.
I hope that this will begin to broaden our vision and our comprehension as to what heaven is going to be. A great many people think that the only ones to be in heaven are their little group, their little church, or their little denomination. Well, there will be other redeemed people there besides even the church. I think that it will surprise a lot of the saints to discover this when they get to heaven. I wish that we could discover it down here because it would give us a greater love for God and lead us to worship Him more in a very real way, to worship Him in spirit and truth.
INSIGHT: In Revelation 7:9-12 another great worship service occurs in heaven, the third such service in four chapters of the book of Revelation. The presence of a vast multitude from every nation, tribe, people, and language confirms the truthfulness of Revelation 5:9, where the Lamb is praised for redeeming such a diverse multitude. This indicates that racial distinctions and uniqueness’s are retained in eternity. They appear wearing white robes, holding palm branches, standing before both God the Father and God the Son (Revelation 7:9), and praising both: Salvation belongs to our God …. and to the Lamb (Revelation 7:10). Angels, the twenty-four elders, and the four living creatures (Revelation 7:11) join the worship with a chorus attributing blessing, glory, wisdom, thanksgiving, honor, power, and strength to God forever and ever (Revelation 7:12).
WHOLLY PARDONED, FULLY FREE
In his sermon “Forgiveness Made Easy,” Charles H. Spurgeon explains the difference between God’s pardon and His blessing of believers:
“Pardon is not a matter of hope, but a matter of fact. Expectation looks for many a blessing, but pardon is a realized favor that faith holds in her hand even now.”
Some Christians unwittingly attempt to alter the nature of God’s pardon. Believing such pardon to be too incredible a gift,…
They endeavor to sneak a peek at their old sin pile -- with an eye to snatch some of it back. But Spurgeon assures them that blotted-out sins are irretrievable.
“If Christ took your load, your load cannot remain on your own back; if Christ paid your debts, then they do not stand in God’s book against you. How can they?” Spurgeon argues.
“It was not here and there a sin that He blotted out, but the whole horrible list and catalog of our offenses He destroyed at once. The substitution of our Lord has finished that matter even to perfection.” – Adapted from Charles Spurgeon, spurgeon.org/sermons/1448.htm
III. WHITE-ROBED WITNESSES. (Revelation 7:13-17)
A. The Worshipers Cause Questions To Be Asked. (Revelations 7:13)
“And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?” (Revelations 7:13)
This is a very informative passage of Scripture. One of the elders went over to John and said, “John, who are these believers here arrayed in the white robes?” And John said, “My lord, thou knowest.” This is an interesting response, and I think we have one like it in our day. When someone asks us a question and we don’t know the answer, we just sort of lift up our hands and say, “Search me!” which means, “I don’t know!” This is exactly what John is saying here: “You know that I don’t know. You tell me because I don’t know.”
B. The Worshipers Are Gentiles. (Revelations 7:14)
“And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” (Revelations 7:14)
There is no doubt as to who this multitude is, because one of the elders explained it to John (Revelation 7:14): they are Gentiles who have been saved through faith in Christ during the Tribulation. (You meet this same group again in Revelation 14.)
1. They made a difficult decision.
While today, in most parts of the world, it is relatively easy to confess Christ, this will not be the case during the seven year Tribulation, at least during the last half of it (the Great Tribulation). Then, unless people wear the “mark of the beast,” they will not be able to buy or sell; and this would leave them without even life’s bare necessities.
INSIGHT: In Revelation 7:13-14 one of the elders asks about the identity of the multitude in white robes (Revelation 7:13) only to answer the question himself when John replies, Sir, you know: they are people who come to salvation during the tribulation (Revelation 7:14). This suggests the 144,000 Jewish evangelists will lead a large number of Jews and Gentiles to embrace Christ as their Lord and Savior. God wants everyone to know that even amid judgment, he offers abundant mercy and opportunity for pardon as well as abundant opportunity for turning from evil. Of course, that opportunity will close at Christ’s second coming. Yet for the moment, men and women cannot claim God prevented them from repenting and following him.
2. They suffered for their decision.
C. These Worshipers Are Special. (Revelations 7:15)
“Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.” (Revelations 7:15)
The fact that they are standing before the throne and not seated around it indicates that these people are not identified with the twenty-four elders.
1. John did not recognize them.
John himself did not know who they were! If they had been Old Testament believers, or the church, John would have recognized them.
2. John had to be told who they were.
That the elder had to tell John who they were suggests that they are a special people, which, indeed, they are.
D. The Worshipers Are True People Of God. (Revelations 7:16-17)
“They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.” (Revelations 7:16-17)
Of course, in the heavenly city (Revelations 21-22), all distinctions will cease and we shall all simply be the people of God in glory. But while God is working out His program in human history, distinctions still exist between (1) the Jews, (2) the Gentiles, (3) the church, and (4) the Tribulation saints.
E. The Worshipers Are Believers In The Lord Jesus Christ. (John 3:16)
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
1. The Only Way To Be Saved.
2. The Day To Be Saved.
If you have never trusted Jesus Christ as your Savior, do it TODAY!
3. The Responsibility of the Saved.
If you have trusted Him, then share the Good News of salvation with others that they too might be delivered from the wrath to come.
INSIGHT: In Revelation 7:15-17 the phrase "for this reason" refers to the salvation described in Revelation 7:14. Because they have been “made . . . white in the blood of the Lamb,” this multitude engages in a victory celebration that prefigures the final victory celebration at the end of history (see Revelation 21:1–22:5). The celebration is unending, and they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night (Revelation 7:15). Their hunger and thirst will be satisfied forever, and forever they will be sheltered from harm (Revelation 7:16). Each of these benefits is dispensed personally by the Lamb (the Lord Jesus Christ). He is at the center of the throne and will shepherd them, guide them to springs of the waters of life, and wipe away every tear from their eyes (Revelation 7:17).
An unknown author once said, "As a boy, I thought of heaven as a city with domes, spires, and beautiful streets, inhabited by angels. By and by my little brother died, and I thought of heaven much as before, but with one inhabitant that I knew. Then another died, and then some of my acquaintances, so in time I began to think of heaven as containing several people that I knew.
But it was not until one of my own little children died that I began to think I had treasure in heaven myself. Afterward another went, and yet another. By that time I had so many acquaintances and children in heaven that I no more thought of it as a city merely with streets of gold but as a place full of inhabitants. Now there are so many loved ones there I sometimes think I know more people in heaven than I do on earth." – From an unknown author
CONCLUSION: What have we learned from today’s Bible study of Revelation chapter 7?
First, we learned that on the island of Patmos, John saw the future, in which believers from every nation and every race will stand before the Lamb in heaven. They will wear white robes and hold palm branches, and they will praise the LORD for having saved them.
Second, we learned that Jesus Christ is the Lamb of God, and to every person the LORD offers salvation in His Son (the Lord Jesus Christ). This would be a good time to either praise the LORD for being our Redeemer because we trust in Jesus Christ for salvation or this would be a good time to trust in Jesus Christ as our Savior.
QUESTION: Have you been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb – the Lord Jesus Christ’s death on the cross?
THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: “Hold tightly to what is eternal and loosely to what is temporal.”
REFERENCES: References used in these Bible studies are the Moody Bible Commentary, J. Vernon McGee’s Thru the Bible Commentary: (www.ttb.org), the Scofield Study Bible, the Believer’s Bible Commentary, Dr. Charles J. Woodbridge Bible Outlines, Dr. Lee Roberson’s Sermons, Dr. Charles Stanley: (http://www.intouch.org/), Don Robinson’s Bible Outlines, Women’s Study Bible, The Bible Reader’s Companion Ed. 3, The Nelson Study Bible: New King James Version, Dr. Tony Evans (https://tonyevans.org/), KJV Bible Commentary, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the New Testament ed. 4, Dr. David Jeremiah: (http://www.davidjeremiah.org/site/), Dr. Cliff Robinson’s Bible Outlines, Dr. Robert Jeffress’ Pathway to Victory (https://ptv.org/), Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the Old Testament, Dr. Alan Carr’s The Sermon Notebook (www.sermonnotebook.org), With the Word Bible Commentary, Wiersbe’s “Be” Series: Old & New Testaments, Radio Bible Class Ministries (http://rbc.org/), selected illustrations and other references.
REV. RONALD PURKEY’S OFFICE
E-mail: Ronald Purkey